US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday pressed his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi to make sure “accountability” for Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had been convicted over the killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl.
The United Nations has additionally known as for the convicted terrorist to be held accountable.
Omar Sheikh is ready to be launched after Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld his acquittal by a decrease court docket in a verdict that sparked outrage within the United States.
A 3-judge court docket, which dominated 2-1 to clear the way in which for Omar Sheikh’s launch, has stated it can clarify its order at a later date.
Blinken and Qureshi spoke for the primary time on Friday after the Biden administration took workplace. They “discussed how to ensure accountability for convicted terrorist Omar Sheikh and others responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl”, the state division stated in a readout of their name. “The secretary (of state) reinforced US concern about the Pakistani Supreme Court ruling and potential release of these prisoners,” it added.
Blinken bolstered this message in a submit on Twitter.
At the United Nations in New York, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the secretary common, had an analogous message for Pakistan. “I don’t have a comment on the specific case. What is important is that there be accountability for those crimes committed,” he instructed reporters in response to a query about Omar Sheikh’s acquittal.
Daniel Pearl, who was South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and murdered in Karachi in 2002. A video of his beheading was posted on-line.
Omar Sheikh, who’s British-born, was arrested and convicted for Pearl’s kidnapping and homicide, and was finally sentenced to dying, which was commuted by the Sindh excessive court docket in April 2020 to seven years.
He had already been in jail for 18 years by that point.
His launch was delayed because the Sindh state authorities and Pearl’s household appealed to the Supreme Court.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki had earlier expressed “outrage” on the Pakistan Supreme Court’s order on Thursday, and Blinken had individually stated the acquittal was an “affront to terrorism victims everywhere”.
They had each reaffirmed US preparedness to prosecute Omar Sheikh in America, renewing a proposal first made by the Trump administration in December 2020.
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